7 Sure-Fire Ways to Kill Off Your Credibility On LinkedIn

Posted on Jun 10, 2010 in LinkedInSocial Media
There are lots of smart ways to use LinkedIn to our own advantage, as our articles before this have illustrated. However, there are also tons of ways to NOT use LinkedIn. Commit these social networking no-nos and you may just find yourself being shut out of the LinkedIn clubhouse forever. Without further ado, check out our list of 7 sure-fire ways to kill off your reputation on LinkedIn.

1. Use the default invitational phrase to death

Yep, the “I’d like to add you to my professional network” message is so well-loved that people cannot get enough of them. I say this with a pinch of sarcasm, of course. Use them too often and your potential contacts may just refuse to connect with you.

PN from Cw-connect Blog wrote about the LinkedIn laziness syndrome involving canned invitations and related her story about how she used the default invitation message once too often and was shot back with a message containing the sentence: “Why do you want to connect with me?” Luckily she regained her composure and conveyed her sincerity in wanting to add the person to her network. Needless to say, her invitation was accepted minutes later.

What you should do: Make the effort to personalize your invitation and tell the other person where you’ve met (offline or online) and why you want to add them to your network.

2. Send 3,085 invitations daily to connect – with strangers

Just because their profiles stood out like a beacon in a foggy day, it doesn’t mean that you should just send out mass invitations. Doing so will just turn them off and send them running opposite your direction.

What you should do: Like LinkedIn suggests, ONLY send out invitations to connect with people you actually know and trust. Good example: That nice young designer whom you hired to create your cool new logo. Bad example: The budding Internet marketer who spammed you with hundreds of emails in the past week.Don’t treat LinkedIn the way you would MySpace. While it’s fine to hook up with “interesting strangers” on the latter, doing so on LinkedIn will defeat your purpose of networking with business professionals. It’s just not professional, if you get my drift.

3. Log in to LinkedIn once every 10 days

If you don’t want to leverage on LinkedIn as a powerful business networking tool, don’t bother checking or logging on to the site once a day. Once every fortnight will do. Now get back to Facebook and see who’s Super-poked you.

What you should do: Make it a point to bookmark LinkedIn and make the URL a permanent fixture in your browser.

4. Bombard your network with unsavory tweets

Users can display their Twitter account on their profiles AND share their tweets in the LinkedIn status too but this can easily be misused especially if you are prone to updating Twitter every few minutes with inane tweets like what you just had for lunch, or worse, what came out soon after! Eeww.

What you should do: There are two ways to ensure you contain the over-enthusiastic Twitter beast within you. You can link a business-only Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile while keeping your personal account to yourself; OR tell LinkedIn to share only tweets that contain the #in hash-tag.

5. Abuse LinkedIn Answers

Answers is a great place to share your knowledge and expertise in order to help your network. However, if you choose to abuse this by trying your darndest to fish for “best answers” designations in the shortest time possible, you are bound to have people question your agenda.

What you should do: Use LinkedIn Answers sparingly, and don’t spend all your time trying to be a know-all. Helping is fine but not if you want to be no.1 all the time.

6. Give recommendations only if they agree to reciprocate

I scratch your back, you scratch mine, right? Well… not all the time. Giving recommendations should be an act of sincerity and honesty. Sure, we do expect to get a nice recommendation in return, but if you just want to embellish your profile with generic recommendations from random strangers/contacts in your network you hardly knew on LinkedIn, then be my guest.

What you should do: Give honest recommendations to people you know and trust and genuinely like. Never write a generic recommendation “Miss XX is a great gal!” or be too personal (“Miss YY makes the best coffee in the morning, if you get what I mean!”).

7. Be a stingy introducer

It is true that introductions cost money but if you are a recruiter and is requested to introduce someone as part of your job, then do try your best to accommodate that request. Otherwise you can charge a fee, and risk ruining your reputation and a good working relationship on LinkedIn. This article tells you more about LinkedIn introductions in detail.What you should do: Introduce people for free!